By Rudi Lopez, M.A. | Editor-in-Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
Torrance, CA – El Camino College to Unveil New Mural Focused on Unity today in the Student Activities Center. ECC art major designed and produced the large-scale mural with a student team. El Camino College art student Haruka Kanemura’s mural on campus is a tribute to friendship, diversity and unity. Those themes are exactly how the large-scale piece came to life on a blank wall in the Student Activities Center. An art major with a focus on illustration and graphic design, Haruka responded to a campuswide call this past fall from the ECC Student Development Office to design a mural. Her design was selected, but she had no experience in painting or large-scale mural work, so she turned to friends for help. A band of about a dozen dedicated student artists have been working since January on the mural, volunteering hundreds of hours to the project. She met most of the team in a two-dimensional design class she took this past fall. One volunteer never misses a day, and another has made the drive from Fullerton multiple times to help out.
“These people really want to help; they are really kind, and I am very grateful for them and amazed at how generous they are with their time,” said Haruka, who works on the mural in between a full schedule of classes. “Working on this mural shows exactly why I enjoy being at El Camino College. I meet so many nice people who are all kinds of different ages, backgrounds and cultures. I really enjoy that part of it, and I think that is what makes El Camino College so great.”
The nearly 10- by 16-foot mural will be unveiled in a ceremony set for 1-2 p.m. May 22 in the college’s Student Activities Center, a central hub for student life. Funded by a grant from the ECC Associated Students Organization, the goal was a mural that reflects the Student Development Office core values (community, excellence, fun, and support), with a design that welcomes students.
“The high quality of Haruka’s work is more than I expected; she went above and beyond,” Rudi Lopez, M.A.
Haruka said the goal of her design was to communicate multiple ideas, covering diversity – including people of different backgrounds – and also how ECC provides a welcoming community for students to reach their goals.
“When I first came on campus, I was really fascinated by how El Camino College provides a safe learning environment for a wide variety of students,” Haruka said. “There was no limit to the age range; people with disabilities were welcomed, and students have various cultural backgrounds. So many people come together at El Camino College, and we appreciate the differences and connect – that is my favorite thing about the college and that is what I am trying to say with the mural.”
Haruka relied on her support system when it came time to get started on the painting. She had never worked on a project like this, so professors advised her through the process and connected her to professional muralists who guided her through logistics such as purchasing supplies and materials.
“The high quality of Haruka’s work is more than I expected; she went above and beyond,” said Rudi Lopez, M.A. a Student Development Office staff member who initially proposed the mural concept. “This student-driven project brought together so many students for this real-world opportunity and has inspired many more. It is fantastic to see the team work on a project focused on unity and community.”